01 August 2012

Ten Top Yorkshire cycling experiences

It's Yorkshire Day, so here's Ten Top Cycling Experiences in Yorkshire. (That's PROPER Yorkshire, not the post-1974 boundary-meddling nonsense.)

1 Spurn Head
One of Britain's strangest rides: four miles along a windswept sand spit, sometimes no wider than a York cycle lane, to a remote community of austere beauty.

2 Swaledale
A glorious downhill that cuts through sheepy hills and delightful villages such as Keld and Muker and Reeth – the pubs aren't bad either. Entry via Buttertubs Pass (right) is not always flat

3 Scarborough-Whitby railtrail
The views on this coastal cinder-track marvel, particularly from Ravenscar to Whitby via Robin Hood's Bay, stop you in your tracks. As does the often bad surface – you need a mountain bike

4 Humber Bridge
The world's longest single-span suspension bridge that you can cycle over. A thing of wonder – as in, I wonder if it'll ever be paid for

5 York
Probably England's cyclingest city outside Cambridge. Pedestrianised centre is a pain but lovely cycle paths by the river and sometimes under it, a fabulous Millennium Bridge, city-wall gates to cycle through, and a scale model of the planets!

6 Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge
One of a handful in the world: fly across the Tees with your bike for 70p on a cross between a ferry, bridge, tennis court and coat hanger

7 Way of the Roses
Almost all in Yorkshire, this varied and often challenging three-day coast-to-coast takes you from Morecambe, in somewhere called Lancashire, to Bridlington on the seabird coast

8 The North York Moors
A trekker's micro-alpine gem, with flattish offroad tracks criss-crossing the moortops. Lunch at Blakey Inn and climb Rosedale Chimney, officially England's steepest road climb

9 Dentdale
Cycle-camp in the quintessential Dales town of Dent. Explore the Three Peaks and Cam High Road, an astonishing Roman-road bridleway that gunbarrels its way straight over the hills

10 Five Rise Locks
The steepest hill on Britain's canal towpaths? Hurtle (carefully) down by the famous staircase-lock marvel at Bingley, and explore the post-industrial world of Saltaire and Leeds from the saddle.

Happy Yorkshire Day!

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